Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vegetarian diet tied to fewer deaths over time...

A new study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine ( http://www.bit.ly/MbBLb9 ) shows that people who limit how much meat they eat and stick mainly to mostly fruits and vegetables are less likely to die over a period of time.

Another study from Europe found that British vegetarians were just as likely to die at any point as the meat eaters. Hmmmmm, is there more to this than meats the eye, (pun intended)? More questions than answers perhaps? We will get to that a little later.

The recent study used data from 73,308 people recruited at U.S. and Canadian Sevent-day Advventist churches between 2002 and 2007.

The participants were asked about their dietary choices and eating habits then seperated into categories. 8% were vegans, no animal products, 29% were lacto-ovo-vegetarians who don't eat fish or other meats but do eat dairy and egg products. The rest of the participants were meat eaters.

The researchers found seven people died of any cause per 1,000 in the meat eating group over a year compared to approximately five to six deaths per year for vegetarians in the same time period. Not a huge difference, but a difference non the less.

It seemed that men benefited the most from the plant based diet. Again, Hmmmmm.

Now we have to ask : Is it the meat or things in the meats that is causing the problem? By things in the meat I mean hormones used in production of livestock here in America or ingredients such as preservatives? Good question, but not one answered in this study. Obviously more studies needed.

No doubt that anyone that eats more vegetables and fruits is better off than one that eats packaged, processed foods, including processed meats. Could it be the added fiber in the veggies and fruits? There have been other studies that show that the added fiber helps with blood sugar regulation and gut health. And we must remember that the gut holds somewhere between 70% to 80 % of the immune system, and since we are looking at total deaths, there may be another connecting link not included in this study.

Also, what was the overall health status and family history of the participants? All this would have to be taken into consideration to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the diet.

Hopefully, in the future, this will be more rigorously investigated. In the mean time, eat more vegetables and fruits, and if you are going to eat meats, make sure the meats are hormone free or organic. For fish, make sure they are 'wild caught' so as to avoid the contaminants of factory farming of fish that is highly suspect as to safety.The lack of hormones and increased fiber will do you good.

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